It’s that time of the week again. This issue contains some resources on how LeBron James approaches training, the thought process on deciding why not to be a surgeon, AI interpreting X-rays, Google’s masterplan and a couple of articles on why mindfulness might work.
LeBron James is undoubtedly great, but the media rarely talk about what’s going on behind the scenes. How is he able to be 35 years old and still be one of the best physically prepared players of all time? Yes, he has to work on for it daily, but how? A while ago I stumbled upon Mike Mancias. He’s LeBron’s athletic trainer and they are doing some amazing stuff together. This post outlines the 5 pillars they used to achieve such a tremendous athletic performance and a lot more. These are strength and conditioning, sports medicine and athletic training, nutrition, recovery and mental preparation. They may be obvious, but it takes a lot of effort to stay on course. What I love about what they do is 2 things: focusing on fundamentals and planning ahead. Another awesome resource is a podcast interview they did with Tim Ferriss.
I came across a great post by a young doctor named Faisal Jamshaid titled “Why I Won’t Be A Surgeon”. Recently, he decided not to pursue a specialisation in surgery and he describes his thought process and reasoning behind this difficult decision. He was certain he wanted to be a surgeon until a series of events made him decide otherwise. In the end, it came down to listening to himself, the courage to changing direction and doing something he loves. I encourage you to read it as it’s a valuable perspective and insight into a life-altering decision.
Qure.ai is a health tech company specialising in artificial intelligence (AI). I found this article on Forbes that they developed a software that helps doctors interpret chest X-rays and with that the progression of COVID-19. It can localise and quantify the lesions caused by the disease to help physicians decide the priority level for the patient. It’s now beginning to come into use in Royal Bolton Hospital in Manchester. This is an encouraging sign for AI use in the UK’s NHS. “Frankly, it isn’t going to replace clinicians, it isn’t going to remove enormous amounts of workload and it certainly isn’t going to autonomously make treatment decisions.” writes the article.
It’s no secret that the “big 4” tech companies, Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon are all big on investing in healthcare technology. An article from 2018, that’s pretty old for tech, does a great summary about what’s Google’s plan for healthcare. They have several patents focusing especially on chronic diseases. In 2019 they acquired FitBit, the wearables company, which shows their interest in collecting vast amounts of data. They founded Verily Life Sciences for studying what genetically makes people healthy. And of course, they’re heavily focused on AI and longevity. The above-mentioned article is a great start into what Google’s healthcare plan is. And of course their Google Health website.
This week I also had a look into why mindfulness is so beneficial for us. Mindfulness is “the ability to be fully present in the moment”. It can have a lot of benefits from decreased stress to increased happiness. But why does it work? A Harvard study scanned individuals, who learned to meditate and compared them to controls using an fMRI. The subjects that knew how to meditate showed changes in the amygdala even when they were not meditating. Some research studies in the coming years (or they might be already underway) will even try to test if MBCT (mindfulness-based cognitive therapy) can improve depressive thoughts. The hypothesis is “that the training boosts body awareness in the moment, called interoception, which, by focusing their attention on the here and now, arms participants to break the cycle of self-rumination.” This article is from 2018, but gives some basics into the research of mindfulness. This is another one that explains what mindfulness is.